ACLU continues to fight Nevada Board of Pharmacy over cannabis classification
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - FOX5 is digging into a battle between the ACLU of Nevada and the Nevada Board of Pharmacy over cannabis classification. The Board of Pharmacy continues to list cannabis as a schedule 1 substance meaning it has a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. The ACLU is pushing back saying that’s out of touch with reality and state law and should have been updated decades ago.
“It has been a loophole that has been leading to criminal arrests and convictions over the course of the last two decades,” shared Athar Haseebullah, Executive Director of the ACLU of Nevada. Haseebullah told FOX5 he doesn’t understand why the Nevada Board of Pharmacy continues to classify marijuana as a schedule 1 drug.
“Fentanyl is listed as a schedule 2 substance, methamphetamine and cocaine are listed as schedule 2 substances because according to the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy, cannabis appears to be of more risk than those substances,” Haseebullah revealed.
The ACLU filed a suit on behalf of the Cannabis Equity Inclusion Community and a man named Antoine Poole.
Haseebullah explained Poole is “trying to do better in his life, seeking an occupational license to become a barber… he has been inhibited,” because of the classification.
“The idea that the Board of Pharmacy is fighting this, I think is legally ridiculous. There is no basis for it,” argued Matthew Hoffmann, Partner at Battle Born Injury Lawyers. FOX5 spoke with Hoffmann to better understand the legal issue at hand.
“In 1998, the Constitution of Nevada was amended, and in that amendment, it specifically states that marijuana does have medicinal purposes and it lists out a variety of different ailments that it can be used for. How do you say that if you are the Board of Pharmacy that marijuana has no medicinal purpose when our own Constitution says it does?” Hoffmann questioned.
A judge sided with the ACLU ruling classifying cannabis as a schedule 1 drug in Nevada is unconstitutional and that another state agency, the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board was created specifically to regulate the drug in the state.
“Nowhere in Tile 56 does it ever mention the Board of Pharmacy,” Hoffmann added.
Federally, cannabis remains a schedule 1 substance, but Hoffmann states legally that doesn’t matter.
“The federal rule has no impact on what a state agency does. A state agency’s job is to enforce state law,” Hoffmann contended.
The ACLU believes cannabis should have been pulled off the controlled substance list decades ago when became legal in the state for medicinal purposes but maintains the Board of Pharmacy continues to resist the change.
“They appealed the decision, so they are using public resources again to try and go to a higher court so they can still have some control over it. It is totally egregious, just another example of government overreach and the unchecked abuse of government resources,” Haseebullah said.
Monday night, FOX5 spoke with an attorney for the Nevada Board of Pharmacy who said they will not comment on pending litigation.
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